Roasted delicata squash with rosemary is an easy side dish for Thanksgiving or any random weeknight.
Roast it in the oven, or cook in the air fryer. Vegan and gluten-free.
When the topic of squash comes up this time of year, invariably it’s pumpkin that gets all of the love.
Pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin pie, even pumpkin smoothies…
Pumpkin gets the fanfare, but delicata is easily my favorite.
This oblong, cream colored squash with green stripes is the one squash that goes into my shopping basket regularly in the cool months of fall and winter.
(It’s also nice to have around, because like other winter squashes, it’s very shelf stable. You can keep it in a cool, dry place for up to three months.)
Why is delicata squash the best?
It’s easy to cut.
Delicata tends to be smaller in size than a lot of other squashes.
So you don’t need to be a weightlifter to press a chef’s knife through it.
You don’t have to peel it.
With delicata, you can eat the skin. No worries about trying to cut off the cumbersome peel.
Plus, that means you get added texture, because it’s not just soft. The peel gets a little bit of chew to it.
It can easily go into savory dishes like a champ.
It is a mildly sweet squash that’s reminiscent of sweet potato.
Here are the ingredients you will need to make this recipe.
Delicata squash: Look for a squash that is firm and heavy. Avoid any that are blemished, soft, or bruised.
Extra virgin olive oil: A thin layer of oil helps with browning & to adhere seasonings.
Dried rosemary: Dried rosemary adds fragrant fall flavor. Fresh will also work equally well.
Salt: A pinch of salt brings it all to life.
Step by step instructions
Here’s how to make this recipe at a glance. For complete ingredient amounts & instructions, keep scrolling to the recipe card below.
To prepare roasted delicata squash, cut off both ends.
Slice it in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds, just like you do with your Halloween jack o’ lantern.
(You can even roast the seeds in the air fryer!)
Then cut the squash into half moons.
Throw the slices on a parchment paper covered baking sheet.
Toss it with oil, rosemary, and salt.
Pop it into the oven for 20 minutes.
Flip the slices. Then roast for 10 minutes more.
Can you air fry delicata squash?
Delicata squash cooks beautifully in the air fryer.
Cook the delicata half moons at 400 degrees for 9 to 12 minutes.
Be careful not to overcrowd the basket, because it won’t brown as evenly.
Cook in batches, if necessary.
How to use it
There are so many ways to enjoy delicata squash!
- Serve it on Thanksgiving in a salad with persimmons.
- Enjoy it in polenta stacks with cashew cream.
- Serve delicata instead of potatoes with vegan breakfast tacos.
- Have it on pizza with browned Field Roast apple sage sausages, caramelized onions, and sautéed kale.
- It’s also a fun addition to a fall-themed vegan cheeseboard.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
It will keep about 4 days.
Reheat in the microwave or in the air fryer until warmed throughout.
Roasted delicata squash (in the oven or air fryer)
- If you're roasting the squash in the oven, preheat oven to 425 degrees. If you're air frying, skip this step.
- Slice the top and bottom off of the delicata squash. Then cut it in half length-wise. Use a spoon to remove the seeds. Then cut it into half moon slices, about a half inch thick. Make sure the pieces are equal in size, so that they cook evenly.
- TO BAKE:Move the slices to a parchment paper covered baking sheet.Drizzle the extra virgin olive oil over the slices, and rub it over the pieces. Spread the delicata slices evenly across the baking sheet. (You don't want the pieces to overlap, or they won't brown as well.)Sprinkle the rosemary over the squash, breaking the dried rosemary with your fingers as you spread it. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over it as well.Move the baking sheet to the oven and roast for 20 minutes, flip the slices, and roast for 10 more minutes. Remove from oven and serve.(Depending on how thinly you slice the squash & how much moisture it has in it, your squash may require less time. Once one side has browned, flip the slices, and roast 10 more minutes.)
- TO AIR FRY:Coat the delicata squash slices with oil, dried rosemary, and a pinch of salt.Put the slices in the air fryer basket. Air fry at 400 degrees for 9 to 12 minutes, stopping once to shake the basket. Be careful not to overcrowd the basket, or it won't brown as evenly. Cook in batches, if needed.
Content updated November 12, 2022. Originally posted October 20, 2009.